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Diagnosing Asthma

Diagnosing Asthma is done by with a series of physical examinations, personal history, and lung function tests by a certified doctor.

Medical & Family History of the Patient
Though asthma itself is not hereditary, but there does seem to be a hereditary component to the tendency to develop asthma so the first step in diagnosing asthma would entail looking at your medical and family history. It is very important for the doctor to know if anybody in your family had asthma, breathing problems, or allergy to any substance.

Physical Examination of the body
The next step taken by the doctor for asthma diagnosis is to do your physical examination. He uses the stethoscope to listen to your breathing (lungs) and does various other physical check ups.

Testing your breathing
Spirometry is used to check how much air can you blow out of your lungs. This test shows how many liters of air can be pushed out and at what rate. This test is not done on children below five years of age as it requires some co-ordination which is a difficult task for the children.

Other tests

  • X-Ray of the chest
  • Allergy Test
  • Blood and Sputum test
  • Challenge Test which determines how twitchy or hyper responsive your airways are.

In some cases the doctor may put the patient on a trial of asthma medicines and medication. If the symptoms go away, then a more postive confirmation and diganosis of asthma is done.